Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in Thailand

So it is about to be christmas in Thailand. Much different then home. Rite now it is -9 at home with a foot of snow, while in Thailand it is 34 degrees and I haven't seen rain in about a month. Things are much different. I like to think it is more accurate weather anyways to when Jesus was born anyway, it isn't really suppose to be cold. Truly though I miss the cold and I love sow. Although for Thai people it is really cold. 30 degrees with a breeze is there winter. 
These last two weeks have been really busy for us here. We have been doing lots of planning for the christmas out reach. Our first one was in Chachengsow, close to the Bethel Church. The night was a success. We had lots of fun. It was filled with skits, Break dancing, prize auctions, and people hearing the gospel. A little cool story that happened. Pi Ying, one of our friends from TLC church was wishing for this fat boy, she loves fat kids, to win a prize. She promised him that he would win a prize. So why not pray, so she prayed that he would win. She was sitting there when they were handing out the bike saying, 268, 268, and then they called his number. She was really stoked. More excited than the kid. Anyways what happened was on wednesday during the cell group at Bethel, the kids mom took the bike and biked over from her village to the village where Bethel is to the cell group and she accepted christ and became a christian on that day. 
The second christmas out reach was on saturday. This was for the kids around Bangsaen. Again as success. A little bit of a gong show actually. There were about 250 kids. It went really well. The Trek team put on a skit. It was a funny skit but it got across the meaning of christmas. Me and Caleb got to teach a bunch of Thai kids "We wish you a Merry Christmas". That was a lot of fun. At first we were doing Rudolph but we quickly realized that was way to hard for them, so quick good change.
The third one happened on Sunday. This was the TLC christmas event. This went again really well. We had about 350 people around there. We had awesome skits. We did our christmas story one again. Me and others did the Everything skit. We had the bboys break dance, and also with some other people including Kenzi they did an awesome dancing skit about Jesus. We sang christmas songs, we gave out prized and shared the gospel. A really fun night. 
Being in Thailand for Christmas has been harder than I expected. Two weeks ago I actually found it quite hard. I saw that it was snowing at home plus all the stuff that comes with christmas is happening. Also recently I have been thinking a lot about my future, what am I going to do when I go back. Some of my friends told me Josh just focus on Thailand. Don't worry about your future, God is going to take care of it. My pride got in the way and I kind of shrugged it off. Than in a sermon I was listening to, it was talking about being where you are. I really felt God telling me. Josh be where you are, if your mind is somewhere else you are going to miss all the blessings that I have laid in front of you. Than it dawned on me, for that week I was so focussed on home that I missed the things God has been blessing me with. 
This has been good for me, to be away for christmas. If you listen to people talk, including me, just listen, to most people christmas is about family and friends. I am not saying it is a bad thing, I love getting together with my family at christmas, but its not christmas. This is what the Angel said to the shepherds.
Luke 2:10
And the angel said to them "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
A savior has been born. A savior that saves us from our junk. Christmas is about Jesus being born into this world, so he can eventually pay the ultimate price of being crucified on the cross.

Hebrews 4:14-16
14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens,[e] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jesus had to come in human form. He suffered even more than us. He knows. He understands. He sympathizes. He was tempted in every way. Jesus, of course being born in a manger, the most humblest of places, was born into the world, as God in flesh, to suffer like us and to be put on a roman cross and crucified. So that we may approach his throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need. Jesus is inviting us into something great. The invitation is for all. It is up to you weather or not you want to take that invitation. 
Hebrews 4:1
1Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.

We are invited in the Gods rest. Life is to hard. There is so much crap in this life and God is sitting there with his hand out say, haven't you had enough of this crap, come to me, let me take off your burden, how long will you wait to enter my rest. There is a plea for everyone to enter Gods rest. Do not mistake me saying, if you accept christ, life will be easier. That is a lie, trust me I can proclaim to that. But I will tell you there is more joy, fulfillment and it less lonely. God bless you all in this time. As christmas comes I ask that, for christians out there, as you wake up in the morning and gather around the tree that you first pray. Praise and thank God for this wonderful gift he has given us. 
Keep praying. I am learning the power of prayer. Your prayers are being herd. It is amazing to be able to see these prayers being answered. Keep praying for Bethel, TLC and you can also pray for some of the orphans. Few and Peh. They aren't feeling well, they are sick. And when you have HIV it is a battle when you are sick. So pray for them. Gem, the girl I told you about who accepted christ a month ago. Her mother passed away last week. She is feeling lonely and scared at her home. So pray for her that God will comfort her as she sleeps and just for what she is going through rite now. And you can always pray for our team. The last two week have been busy, so these next two weeks should be good. O one last thing. Our Visas. We have a little problem. We can only get 15 day visas in Cambodia. This was recently changed. A couple months ago you could get 1 month visas but now they shortened it to 2 weeks. So, we need a lot of prayer. It is not really in our budget for us to go to cambodia 2 times a month. Our other option is fly to malaysia which is not in our budget either. We trust that God and know God is in control and he will handle this in the way he wants to but please pray.
Thanks everyone, Love you all
Have a good Christmas where ever you are.

Joshua Olsen

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